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Olivia Gilbert


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Hi! My name is Olivia. I'm a senior in high school. I love to volunteer in my community and help my neighbors and peers. I am the Junior Mayor of Montevallo, AL. I am also the President and founder of the Montevallo High School Zonta Club, President of the Montevallo High School Future Teachers of America, Vice President of GirlSpring, an online magazine for girls, and I am the 2020-2021 Vice President of the Youth Leadership Development Program. I am also a trumpet and french horn player for the Montevallo High School Troubadours and I'm in the Montevallo High School Dawg Impact Leadership Team. I have spent many summers volunteering at the Parnell Memorial Library Children's Musical Theater Camp. Last summer I represented my high school at Girls State. I also represented the State of Alabama at the Henry Clay High School Student Congress. I love attending the University of Alabama Model United Nations Conference and the Junior United Nations of Alabama Conference every year. I have a dog and two cats that I love dearly! I love my town and having the opportunity to be civically engaged. I am passionate about women's rights and hope to study women's studies. I want to make a difference in the world and create a equitable world for all women. I will be attending Emory University in the fall.


Montevallo High School

High School
2018 - 2022
  • GPA:


  • Desired degree level:

    Bachelor's degree program

  • Majors of interest:

    • Multi/Interdisciplinary Studies, Other
  • Not planning to go to medical school
  • Career

    • Dream career field:

      Civic & Social Organization

    • Dream career goals:

      Non-profit Leader, Founder, Director


      Marching Band

      2017 – Present7 years


      • Brass Section Leader


      • Montevallo High School Band

        2016 – Present
      • Children's Musical Theater Workshop

        2016 – 2019

      Public services

      • Volunteering

        YouthServe Youth Action Council — Member
        2021 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Parnell Memorial Library — Assistant to Librarian
        2020 – 2020
      • Volunteering

        Youth Leadership Development Program — Vice President
        2020 – 2021
      • Volunteering

        Zonta Club — Founder and President
        2019 – Present
      • Volunteering

        Montevallo Junior City Council — Junior Mayor, President
        2017 – Present

      Future Interests




      Surya Education Assistance Scholarship
      Change is inevitable. Everything is in motion. The world is constantly evolving. The status quo seldom lasts. To be educated is not to learn a set of eternal truths or never-changing facts. To be educated is to understand change. To be educated is to be changed. To be educated is to be equipped to change the world for the better. Education makes all things possible. As a society, education is our key to understanding one another, fighting for one another, and changing the world to make it a better place for all of us. I want to be educated because I want to be a changemaker. I want to surround myself with changemakers. I want to be changed. Throughout my time in high school I have taken advantage of the educational opportunities that have been given to me. I have taken advanced classes on subjects that were new to me. I have learned to play new instruments. I have taken steps to be constantly engaged and actively growing, actively changing. And I have worked and collaborated with others to make changes in my school and community. Over the last year, the women’s service and advocacy club that I founded, Z Club, has been working to place feminine hygiene products into the bathrooms of our school because, through education, we learned that some of our fellow students have no access to these products. In my role as Junior Mayor, I have worked to help our town enact a non-discrimination ordinance, spoken in support of a historic marker at the site of a tragic racial lynching, and worked hard to ensure that the youth in our community continue to have a seat at the table of decision makers. I have learned how important these issues are through research and conversations with others, I have been changed by those conversations, and have tried to help use that knowledge to change our school and our town for the better. I am ready for change, to be changed and to make change. I am ready to begin my college career and begin learning about the world and how I can work with others to change it for the better. I’m ready for change to change me. I believe that college will challenge me and change me. I believe that college will be a place where learning never ends. I believe that college will teach me more than I know now about what it means to be educated and to be forever engaged in restless inquiry. Education is about being prepared for change. It is to be changed by a growing awareness of the world and the people in it. Education is about making change. I am ready to learn and grow and change. I know that college will allow me to do that. I am ready to change the world.
      Sloane Stephens Doc & Glo Scholarship
      I serve as Junior Mayor of a small Alabama town. I was elected to this position by my peers on the Montevallo Junior City Council, a group of students dedicated to representing the voice of youth in our community and to being engaged in our town’s civic life. The MJCC began almost 10 years ago as a collaboration between the City, the David Mathews Center for Civic Life, and a group of middle school students. The MJCC serves the community through volunteer work and by sponsoring events and projects for young people. It promotes civic engagement and works to inspire young people to participate in community life. As a member of the council, I have learned Robert's Rules of Order and how to write a good email. I have learned that in order for a community to thrive, everyone has to have a seat at the table. I have learned that government and community leaders should represent all of the people. I have learned that without representation, discrimination and inequity remain a threat to our neighbors and friends. I have been fortunate to be able to speak up for my friends and neighbors as Junior Mayor. When Montevallo was the second city in Alabama to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that protected the rights of the LGBTQ+ community, it was important that my voice was heard as a representative of my peers. When our city decided to erect an Equal Justice Initiative Historic Marker at the site of a lynching, it was important that all our voices were heard in support of a reckoning with our racist past. Until recently, the Junior Mayor has had a seat at the dais with the City Council members at their meetings. The seat represents the voice of young people. Last month, the newly elected mayor removed the seat from the dais. Even after I spoke with him and made the case for why the seat was important, his opinion was unchanged. Drawing on what I have learned about civic engagement, I reached out to the other members of the Junior City Council and our peers about the issue. At the next City Council meeting, a dozen or more young people attended to speak to the council. One after the other, they made the case about how the seat on the dais represents them and their voice in our community and inspires them to be a part of civic life. The powerful words of these students, my friends, were incredibly inspiring and moving. I plan to take my seat on the dais at the next meeting. As Junior Mayor, I have learned Robert’s Rules of Order and how to write an email. I have also learned how to represent my peers and how to work toward a more equitable, inclusive, and just community. My time as Junior Mayor has given me the chance to create meaningful relationships with my neighbors and to work with them to create meaningful change. I have learned that I have the persistence and leadership to help make changes in my community. These are the values that I value most because I have seen the change that they can make. I have gained valuable characteristics that I can take with me into my time in college and beyond. I believe that the lessons I have learned on the MJCC are lessons that I will continue to use throughout my life journey and I am ready for the challenges that lay ahead.
      Bold Great Minds Scholarship
      Elizabeth Cady Stanton challenged religion in 1895 when she re-wrote the bible. Stanton advocated for Women's Rights. Stanton was a suffragette and I admire her deeply for fighting the fight that she fought. She helped organize the American Equal Rights Association and establish the Women's Loyal National League. She changed the world even though so many people told her that she could not. This inspires me because I am passionate about women's rights. I established by high school's Z Club which works to help women through service and advocacy and I plan to study Women's Studies in college. I hope that one day I can make a difference in the world. I hope that I can fight the fights that need to be fought. I believe that the best work is the work done for others, done for equality, and done for equity. Stanton believed that too. She knew what was right and that it was worth fighting for. She saw the path to equality and she took it. Stanton changed our lives because she was a leader and an advocate for those who didn't have a voice. I will continue to speak up for those who can't in my community, state, country, and world. I will make change.
      Next Young Leaders Program Scholarship
      I've never heard a good definition of a leader. I think that is because there isn't one. I am the Junior Mayor of the City of Montevallo and the president of the Montevallo Junior City Council, the Montevallo High School Z Club, and the Montevallo High School Future Teachers of America. I am also the vice president of GirlSpring, vice president of the 2020-2021 Youth Leadership Development Program, and brass section leader of the Montevallo Marching Troubadours. Additionally, I participate in clubs like Model United Nations, the Montevallo High School Dawg Impact Leadership Team, and more. This summer I am attending Alabama Girls State and I am representing Alabama at the Henry Clay High School Student Congress. I spend a lot of time learning about what it means to be a leader. I've heard that a leader is a listener, a leader is confident, a leader is a team player, and more. But if I am not all of these things all the time, can I call myself a leader? Yes. While these are good attributes in a leader, I have met so many young people who are leaders in their own way. There can't be one definition or one list of characteristics that all good students should follow. I'm the type of leader who makes mistakes. But I learn from them and the end result is always better than I ever imagined it could be. I'm the type of leader who gets frustrated with my peers and my teachers. But I learn from that too. I'm the type of leader that wants to lead because I have passions and ideas for how to make things great. Not everyone is the same type of leader that I am and that's okay too. My time in the Junior City Council and my other extra circulars have allowed me to become a leader through planning service projects, planning events, and lots of trial and error. I have planned drive-in movies, high school dances, shoe drives, summer camps, and more. All of these experiences have prepared me to make a mark on the campus that I attend in the fall of 2022. I am so excited to join clubs and make a difference. I know that I am capable of making positive changes wherever I go. I can't wait to get out into the world and make mistakes. I can't wait to get out into the world and turn those mistakes into victories. I can't wait to get out into the world and become an even greater leader. Not just any kind of leader though. My kind of leader.
      Act Locally Scholarship
      I live in Alabama. A state where the women earn $0.73 to every man's dollar. A state where the governor believes that abortions are comparable to the holocaust. There are deep issues in the State of Alabama and recently, with the work of women in the state, some have risen to the surface. I want to change these statistics and support the women in my community, country, and the world. As a young woman, I work to empower other girls in my state. I am vice president of GirlSpring, an online magazine for girls, and the community that the magazine has created has allowed these conversations about the wage gap, childcare, and abortions to exist on a platform and in a language that is far more accessible for young women. I enjoy writing about the way women are represented in TV and movies. I write about heroines who inspire me and have helped raise me to become who I am. I write about topics that contribute to the safe and welcoming community that is GirlSpring. Additionally, I am the founder and president of my high school's Z Club. Z Club is a branch of Zonta International which works to support women through service and advocacy. I work with other young women at my school to host fundraisers and service projects that support women in Alabama. We are not afraid to stand up against sexism within our school. Being the president of Z Club has given me the chance to hear from my peers about their experiences as women in Alabama and work on ways to solve their problems. There are so many benefits that result from giving girls the opportunity to support each other in a community setting. These causes have always been something I've fought for. I have always been able to stand up for myself and for the girls in my school and community. In middle school I went to a Junior United Nations conference where I fought for women's rights as a delegate of Turkey. Creating solutions to the issues that face women in my city, country, and world has come naturally to me. I hope to one day be able to make a difference on a huge scale. To use my skills to change the lives of all women. Being a girl has always been a huge part of my identity. It has given me a purpose and a community. There is no reason that women should be payed less than men. There is no reason that only the poorest women in Alabama can have access to childcare subsidies. There is no reason that young girls should experience discrimination in schools. Yet, all of those things give me a reason to fight. Alabama is not a lost cause. There are, and always have been, incredible women who are changing the state for the better. My friends in the Z Club are those women, my friends in GirlSpring are those women, and I am that type of woman.
      Bold Moments No-Essay Scholarship
      When I was in middle school I wanted to change the world. And I still do. In an attempt to make a change in my community, state, and country I lead a walkout. No one else had attempted it. So, when I first heard about the National School Walkout Against Gun Violence I knew I had to do it. I'm a rule follower. But, when there's injustice you have to take a stand. When the day came almost 1/2 of my school walked out. We stood up to gun violence and I lead a discussion about recent mass shootings.